It's Easter. Time to stuff yourself with baby animal-shaped chocolates and cross-covered pastries while feeling absolutely zero shame. To help you make the most of it, here are the best holiday treats making up your Easter hunt this year — from hot cross loaves to raw vegan caramel eggs and hot cross bun ice cream sandwiches.
HOT CROSS LOAF AT BOURKE STREET BAKERY
A big favourite around Easter time, the Bourke Street Bakery hot cross loaves skip the part where you eat a whole bag of hot cross buns and just give you the loaf-sized portion you know you want. They're available up until Easter Monday at all eleven bakeries, and this year, they're even doing a variation containing Belgian chocolate and cranberry. They're perfect to share around at Easter family gatherings and are great to toast up for breakfast all throughout the Easter season.
A more savoury, chewy alternative to the Easter staple, Smoking Gun's hot cross bagels or 'bunny boilers' are an excellent addition to your long weekend breakfasts. They're full of cloves, coffee grounds, cinnamon, candied citrus peel, white wine (!) and are stacked with fruit — over 2.5 kilograms goes into a 5 kilogram dough mix. Best served with Pepe Saya's coveted cultured butter.
Pyrmont's artisanal gelaterie and creperie is teaming up with neighbouring bakery Pioik to bring you a new spin on this Easter classic. The freshly made hot cross buns will be stuffed with Love Crepe's house-made cinnamon gelato ice cream, giving a majorly delicious face lift to the old favourite. This treat will only be available from Wednesday, April 12 through Easter Sunday, so get on in while supplies last.
Innovative dessert crafters Koi are really outdoing themselves for Easter. Among the three specialty desserts they're putting out for the season, the Easter Garden ($20) is the most unusual — resembling, you guessed it, a spring garden. The dish is complete with matcha soil, a tree stump formed from chocolate brownie and edible dew drops. Almond sable, hazelnut praline, popping candy bonbon, dulce caramel, passionfruit curd, raspberry mousse and vanilla anglaise are also present in this decadent dessert, which is available from April 11.
Brickfields offer you a different take on the traditional hot cross bun with their own signature sourdough version. Made with whey and mixed with cranberries, currents and sultanas, they're denser then the traditional Easter bun, and somehow extra delicious. Get in early though.
Adriano Zumbo always gets right into Easter. Along with a special Easter Cake and a wide assortment of bunny shaped chocolates, this year they've come out with 'Down the Rabbit Hole' — a limited-edition carrot cake with lychee gel, cream cheese mousse, ginger and lemon cream and hazelnut sable glaze. If these don't sound like enough toppings, the dessert is completed with toasted hazelnuts, chocolate carrots and mini chocolate Zumbarons. This year, all Zumbo Easter treats are also available in all stores.
If there's anything more satisfying than biting into a gooey, chocolatey Caramello egg, it's biting into one that isn't even bad for you. Pana's epic raw, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free caramel lava egg is making its annual Easter appearance, and cult followers couldn't be more ecstatic. We recommend you order online to guarantee your guilt-free fix and avoid disappointment.
Barangaroo's chocolate shop is adding a personalised touch to treats this Easter by offering hand-painted chocolate bunnies, chooks and eggs. They're offering a whopping 15 different treats, from classic flavours like milk, dark and white chocolates to less conventional flavours like green tea with macadamia and strawberry with coconut. The chocolates can be ordered with a plaque donning a name or Easter greeting of your choice. All of Oh! Boo's chocolates are made from scratch onsite, so you know you're giving, or getting, that little extra love this year.
The Grounds love to celebrate Easter in a big way — say, with a giant Easter egg that is over three metres tall. Australia's largest, in fact. No bookings, pre-orders or payments of any kind are necessary — the 'community cracking' will take place at 2pm on Easter Sunday where patrons are encouraged to show up and fill their bellies with as much chocolate as they like.
Keg & Brew is turning your 'traditional' Easter celebration on its head with a special craft beer offering. Over the duration of the long weekend, patrons can enjoy $6.50 schooners/$8.50 pints of Willie the Boatman's lager, along with Willie The Boatman's Black Bunny Dark Ale. It's an 'Old' style ale using four kinds of dark malts and coffee and chocolate malts.
While most of Sydney's baked shop are putting the finishing touches on their bun crosses, Sonoma adorn their sourdough hot buns with their signature S instead — hence the nickname, 'Not X Buns'. Their version is studded with plumped sultanas and cranberries and spiced to perfection. The buns are available in all Sonoma stores right up until Easter Sunday.
This incredibly lavish, over-the-top golden egg would do Willie Wonka's Veruca Salt proud. The glimmering egg is made of salted caramel gelato, passion fruit puree yolk and a caramelised chocolate crunch base. Topped with passionfruit mousse and passionfruit caramel ganache, then all sitting on a bed of spun sugar and white chocolate feathers, the gooey centre oozes out upon slicing. It's everything we expect from Gelato Messina and then some. Suffice to say these babies are severely sold out.
By Marissa Ciampi with Libby Curran and Shannon Connellan.